2019 Ducati Diavel 1260S Review First Ride

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By Gabe Ets-Hokin

2019 Ducati Diavel 1260S

Editor Score: 89.5%

Engine 19.0/20
Suspension/Handling 12.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 10/10
Brakes 10/10
Instruments/Controls 5.0/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 7.5/10
Appearance/Quality 9.0/10
Desirability 9.0/10
Value 8.0/10
Overall Score 89.5/100

Jet lag is the price I pay for some good parts of life, like flying to Spain’s Costa del Sol to ride Ducati‘s pretty-much-all-new Diavel 1260S. And it was a very good part, because Spain has very good roads, and the Diavel 1260S is a very good motorcycle.

Yeah, I said it: an unqualified very good motorcycle, at least based on about 200 miles of riding on smooth, winding roads. It’s fast, it’s easy to ride, it looks good and works as a package. But that was no surprise to me; I rode the original Diavel 1198 back in 2011 (for a different website; not all who wander are lost), and it surprised me, a cruiser-shaped thing that handled and performed like a sporty-standard-type thing. That’s a good thing, and an even better thing is that Ducati didn’t get bored with it and now, eight model years later, has made lots of tasteful and useful improvements without losing the basic goodness of the badness that is Diavel.

You see, over the last three decades here at the MO, we’ve ridden scads of “power cruisers” and “muscle cruisers” and other two-wheelers that make similar promises; cruiser sound, looks, and comfort with sportbike-level performance and handling. It’s usually just cosmetics; slap some inverted forks and radials on that mutha’, black out some chrome, think of a tough-sounding name and call it a day. Testing those Frankenbikes usually had me writing stuff like “the inverted front end inspired greater confidence,” but even if you put Sisley Paris Hydrating Long-Lasting Lipstick ($57) on a pig, it’s still just a potential source of …read more

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